Growling when picked up

Go Back   Dog Forum > Keeping and Caring for Dogs > Dog Training and Behavior

Growling when picked up

This is a discussion on Growling when picked up within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I recently adopted a two-year old mini. dachshund. Things have been going well for the past four weeks, but recently he has started growling when ...

User Tag List

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-30-2017, 10:14 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Growling when picked up

I recently adopted a two-year old mini. dachshund. Things have been going well for the past four weeks, but recently he has started growling when I pick him up. At first he would only growl when he knew it was time to go in the kennel for bedtime, but now it is whenever we pick him up, even if to get him off my lap so that I can do something. He warms up to me almost immediately thereafter, tail wagging and all, but when I am about to pick him up there is a notable change in his affect. His previous owners were rough with him, I was told by the shelter, so I imagine that has something to do with it. Is it just a matter of not picking him up? That seems an insufficient solution, especially in cases where he is on my lap and I need to move. I've been told to use treats for bedtime to associate the kennel with a positive environment. I'm simply not sure what to do. It's one thing for a dog to be a curmudgeon (however disheartening, since I enjoy picking my dogs up and snuggling with them), but to be so in such a bi-polar way, so to speak, is disconcerting. Thoughts? Tips?
ccrs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2017, 03:40 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 136
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
How recently did you adopt him? Rescue dogs need time and patience to acclimate to their new home and family, If he is relatively new to your home try not picking him up to often till he has bonded more with you, he will come around...He definitely needs alot of positive reinforcement, so yes use treats, so that he associates those things you are concerned about with being positive, it probably wouldn't hurt to take an obedience class with him either!!
Olympia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2017, 03:45 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Many thanks for your reply. We are going on four weeks of his being in my care. This growling, however, is a more recent phenomenon. I do not spank my dogs, so I'm not sure where this is coming from. (Like I said, though, his previous owner was rough with him.) Perhaps I got comfortable more quickly than he and have unknowingly increased the number of times I try to pick him up. I will give it more time. Again, thank you for your advice.
ccrs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2017, 04:00 PM
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,404
Mentioned: 104 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Okay, I have a harebrained idea but what the heck. Try placing a high value treat slightly elevated above the dog's reach, resting on something like a box or stool. Give your pooch a taste of another small piece near the elevated piece, the moment your dog has wind of the placed treat and looks like he might go for it, just help the dog up by lifting his front half up to get the treat and see if he growls. If he does, just practice the placement of your hands on the dog in a similar position without lifting the dog and reward immediately. One small step at a time and repeat the non-growling version numerous times while rewarding. IF, a slow progression of hand placement simulating how you lift him followed by just lifting his front half gets no growling, continue the process until you can lift him completely to get to the reward.

If by a long shot this should work and your dog turns into a counter surfer ( the really low ones) you can work on that next.
DriveDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2017, 04:49 PM
Dog Forum ModeraTHOR
kmes's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 11,909
Mentioned: 486 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I agree with working on helping him become more comfortable with being picked up (and handled in general) via rewards as suggested already.

A couple other thoughts...
-I would have a very thorough exam done by your vet to look for any pain. While your guy is young, the breed is prone to back issues and as he had prior owners who were rough with him it would be something to investigate/rule out.

- Also you might have success with using a hand target to help move him when needed so you don't have to pick him up as frequently.
kmes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2017, 04:56 AM
Zephyrdog's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I agree with all the others regarding training to help him get used to being picked up, but in the meantime there are ways around having to pick him up to get him off your lap. In my experience if you just move a little they wake up anyway, and often jump off ready to see what you are getting up to. The other option is to just sort of scooch out from under them so they plonk down on the couch.

Also I would be looking at teaching him an 'off' command also - this was the rule for my dog when she was a puppy - she wasnt allowed to stay on the couch until she knew what 'off' meant and obeyed every time. She was always an easily distracted dog so if she jumped on the couch I just made the floor a much more exciting place to be, and she would also get rewarded for jumping down. Im not sure how treat/play motivated your guy is but might be worth a shot?
Zephyrdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2017, 11:33 AM
Senior Member
Laco's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,063
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Four weeks is not a long time, considering all the adjustments he has to make. Its possible, the reason he just started growling is that he is beginning to feel comfortable enough to express himself. Having a Vet access him is always a good idea, and I too thought of him possibly being in pain when you lift him, but I think you would get more than a growl if it hurt. Having said that, Doxies are indeed very prone to spine problems, so there is another reason for the Vet assessment, if for no other reason, to rule out spinal pain. Once he gets a clean bill of health, consider working with a qualified trainer even if just for a short time, so you can learn the correct way to deal with him and the growling issue.
Laco is offline   Reply With Quote

growling, growling problems

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Puppy growling randomly -- part 2 JaredAussieOwner Dog Training and Behavior 1 05-24-2017 06:41 PM
My puppy keeps growling at strangers :( LucyR Dog Training and Behavior 1 10-11-2016 02:14 PM
Growling Chi! Help? :-( Chibaby Dog Training and Behavior 21 01-15-2016 06:35 AM
Weird Growling question wideturn Dog Training and Behavior 20 12-22-2015 07:14 AM
Happy Growling? Help? VarmyRiks Dog Training and Behavior 10 11-23-2015 12:47 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:59 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.